College Reunions: To Go, or Not to Go, No Question About It.

This past weekend Jo and I participated in a reunion of our Bible college alma mater. (Yes, the one that expelled me in my second year. But that’s another story.)



When we first walked into the registration hall I thought, Wait a minute. We’re in the wrong place. This is just a bunch of old people.

Why would we spend the time, effort and money to get together with people we went to school with, some of whom we hadn’t seen for half a century? Why would anyone?

We talked. We listened. And talked some more. For hours and hours. Everyone had the same two questions for everyone else. Where do you live now? What do you do? Sometimes the conversation petered out at that point, and sometimes that was the start of catching up to 50 or more years of stories of family raising, travels and ministries.

Since Jo and I were missionaries to Brazil for nearly 25 years and are still active in ministries, many people had kept up with us through our newsletters, emails and blog site. But we hadn’t kept up with all of them. So we did a lot of listening.

We got name cards to wear, with our names printed in large letters. Good thing too, since many of my old time friends had changed so much they didn’t recognize me until they glanced down at my name card.

Seeing how much people have changed, or haven’t changed is certainly one reason people come to reunions. I remember walking into an earlier reunion and immediately noticing someone I had dated in college. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Through all those decades she hadn’t changed a bit! Still just as fresh faced, and good looking as ever. As I stared astonished, I noticed a woman about my own age standing near this vision of loveliness. She was watching me and laughing softly to herself. Then she said, “Hi Jack, meet my granddaughter.”

We had lots of unstructured time to praise God together as we sat in sharing circles and told and heard encouraging stories about children and grandchildren, fascinating travels, and ministry successes. It was great. But as I led the closing program and banquet, I looked out over the 190 attendees and suspected that there was also a heart ache in every chair. Pain, disappointment, sickness, and failure are part of everyone’s life. Those stories came out during the more private conversations.

Probably the best part of the organized program was the sing-along when for over half an hour we all sang steadily, lustily, and loudly—and from memory!—old time hymns, and meaningful choruses. Yes, we even sang all the way through the Hash Chorus!

Here are some reasons to attend your college reunion:

  • You’ll be missed if you don’t show up.
  • Your family is tired of hearing your stories and you need a new audience.
  • It just might be fun.
  • To show off pictures of your amazing grandkids.
  • It’s a small world, and you’ll be surprised at the neat coincidences that turn up.
  • To listen to some real music.
  • You’ve always wondered what happened to what’s-his-name.
  • To renew old friendships, or start new ones.
  • To talk about the good old days.
  • 1-1-DSC_0275Others really want to see you!
  • You know you really want to
  • Extensive studies have shown that those who initially were hesitant about attending their reunion, were very happy they came.
  • Who knows when there will be another reunion?
  • Who knows if you’ll be around to attend?

If your alma mater is a Christian College, then a reunion is a foretaste of The Great Reunion! And that’s the Reunion no one wants to miss!